Associate Professor Daniel Steffens  BPhty(Hons), PhD – Director

Dr Daniel Steffens is the Deputy Director of the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe). At SOuRCe, Dr Steffens manage and supervise a large research team working in the following flagship surgical programs: Advanced Gastrointestinal Surgical Program (including Pelvic Exenteration, Peritonectomy, Advanced Upper Gastrointestinal and Sarcoma), Surgical Robotics Program, Orthopaedic and the Vascular Surgical Research Program.

Dr Steffens is a Clinical Senior Lecturer at The University of Sydney, where he contributes to teaching postgraduate students in research methods. Dr Steffens is currently supervising several higher degree students and is actively involved in The University of Sydney MD Program.

Dr Steffens research skills and interest includes conducting clinical trials, systematic reviews, measuring risk factors and exploring prognosis and prevention strategies for health related conditions. Dr Steffens is the Chief-Investigator of the PRIORITY Trial – An NHMRC funded trial investigating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a preoperative exercise and education program on the reduction of postoperative complication in patients undergoing advanced gastrointestinal cancer surgery.

Tel: (02) 9515 3203



                       Ms Madhu Prasad  Dip Telecom Engineering, Dip Travel & Tourism/Secretarial Studies – Administrative Officer

Ms Prasad joined SOuRCe in August 2009 as an administrative assistant, having held similar positions with the Registrar’s office at the University of the South Pacific and the Faculty of Medicine, the University of Sydney. Madhu has a detailed understanding of administrative policy and procedures relating to research, purchasing, finance and governance within both the SLHD and the University of Sydney which is invaluable to streamline SOuRCe’s operations across both organisations for staff and students. Given the dispersed nature of most of SOuRCe’s affiliates and collaborators, Madhu’s skilful coordination and liaison is crucial for the group’s success. Madhu provides a central point of communication and liaison, co-ordinates meetings and conferences, manages the office and research resources, develops and maintains records and archive systems, and assists students, surgeons and other researchers with administration of research grants, ethics applications, manuscripts and dissertations. Madhu is integral to the success of SOuRCe as a research and education centre.

Tel: (02) 9515 3200



                         Mr Sascha Karunaratne  BHlthSci(Hon), MPhty – SOuRCe Research Manager

Sascha graduated as a Physiotherapist from the Western Sydney University and joined SOuRCe in January 2017. He was integral in the formation of the Orthopaedic Surgery Research Program, before transitioning to his current role as our SOuRCe Research Manager. He now assists the Director with the management and supervision of the unit’s numerous multi-disciplinary projects which cover a wide range of surgeries. These include Pelvic Exenteration, Peritonectomy, Advanced Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery, Robotic Surgery, Vascular Surgery and Orthopaedic Surgery.

Sascha is concurrently pursuing his PhD in decision-making in total knee arthroplasty under the supervision of Professors Michael Solomon, Ian Harris, Lyndal Trevena and Dr Mark Horsley. His thesis is exploring the process patients, in collaboration with their medical team, follow when considering whether knee arthroplasty is the best option for them. Through interviewing and evaluating response from patients, Orthopaedics surgeons, Rheumatologists, General Practitioners and Physiotherapists, his PhD hopes to identify the best process to assist patients in making informed decisions.

Tel: (02) 9515 3464



                        Ms Kadja Benicio  BPhty(Hons), MPhty – Pelvic Exenteration Research Officer

Kadja joined SOuRCe in November 2019 as one of the Pelvic Exenteration Research Officers. She is a Physiotherapist graduated in Brazil at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte and completed a Masters of Physiotherapy with emphasis in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation in 2016. Prior to her work at SOuRCe, Kadja worked as a Physiotherapist in the Neonatal Intensive Care area. She has a great interest in public health and has been involved in research since 2011.

At SOuRCe, Kadja works alongside her colleague, Olivia, at the Pelvic Exenteration surgical department. They assist in the running and coordination of various studies. Kadja’s main responsibility is the management of the PESQI (Pelvic Exenteration Surgery Quality Improvement) database and the coordination of a large longitudinal study investigating the quality of life of patients after surgery.

Tel: (02) 9515 6406



                         Ms Jenna Bartyn  BHlthSci, MPH – Priority Trial Research Officer

Jenna recently joined SOuRCe as the PRIORITY Trial Research Officer in December 2020. Her role involves assisting with the coordination of the study, which focuses on a preoperative exercise and education program for patients undergoing surgery for major advanced or recurrent gastrointestinal cancer.

Jenna has completed a Bachelor of Health Science (Indigenous Health) and a Master of Public Health from the University of Wollongong. She has an interest in health promotion and public health. Jenna gained a passion for conducting research whilst completing her postgraduate studies, and has continued to develop her research experience being involved in research projects at different institutions. Jenna is interested in further developing her research skills and experiencing how programs can improve individuals’ quality of life.

Tel: (02) 9515 3207



                          Mr Nicholas Hirst  BMedSc, MPH – Robotics Research Officer

Nicholas joined SOuRCe in March 2021 as the Robotics Research Officer. Under the leadership of several surgeons, Nicholas oversees multiple surgical robotic research databases and trials across the specialities of urology, colorectal, cardiothoracic, gynaecology and upper gastrointestinal.

Nicholas has completed a Bachelor of Medical Science (Immunobiology) and a Master of Public Health (Communicable Disease Control) at the University of Sydney. Prior to joining SOuRCe, Nicholas worked alongside Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s Public Health Unit team and separately in healthcare workforce research. These experiences precipitated a keen interest in medical research for Nicholas, particularly translating evidence based research into clinical practice as well as patient-centred care.

Tel: (02) 9515 3204






                    Ms Kate Alexander  BSc(MedSci), BAdvStudies(Hons) – Orthopaedic Research Officer



Kate joined SOuRCe in November 2021 as the Orthopaedic Research Officer. In her role, Kate oversees the co-ordination of many different types of studies within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Kate is largely involved in the management and collection of data for projects relating to clinical and quality of life outcomes for patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery, of note the follow-up of patient reported outcomes in lower limb robotic arthroplasty.

Kate has recently completed a Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Honours) in Infectious Diseases and Immunology from The University of Sydney. She has previously completed a Bachelor of Science (Medical Science) from The University of Sydney. Kate has developed a passion for medical research throughout her studies, with particular interests in implementing evidence based research into clinical practice to improve health outcomes.

Tel: (02) 9515 3210




                         Ms Kiera Taylor BSc (Hons), MPEng(Biomedical) –  Pelvic Exenteration Research Officer

Kiera joined SOuRCe in early 2022 as one of the Pelvic Exenteration Research Officers. The Pelvic Exenteration service at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital has been running for over 25 years, has seen over 900 patients proceed to surgery, and has the largest international published experience and annual velocity of Pelvic Exenteration procedures.  As part of her role at SOuRCe, Kiera manages the Pelvic Exenteration clinical database, in conjunction with a prospective patient reported outcomes quality of life database. In addition, Kiera facilitates research for clinicians and higher degree research students that interact with these databases. This allows for the continual investigation and improvement of Pelvic Exenteration surgical techniques and patient reported outcomes.

Kiera has completed a Bachelor of Science (Nanotechnology/Chemistry; Hons) at the University of Western Australia and a Master of Professional Engineering (Biomedical) at The University of Sydney.  She has an interest in medical innovation, investigating cancer chemo-prevention therapeutics during her honour’s thesis. During her master’s thesis Kiera developed novel 3D modelling and manufacturing techniques for patient specific nasal cartilage tissue scaffolds. She then spent several years working as an engineer at a medical technology company involved in patient specific surgical planning and guide manufacture.

Tel: (02) 9515 6416




                         Mr James Morkaya BMedSc (Hons) – Upper Gastrointestinal Research Officer

James joined SOuRCe in April 2022 as the Upper Gastrointestinal Research Officer. Under the leadership of several Upper Gastrointestinal surgeons, James manages and looks after the HUGO database, as well as several studies and trials.

James completed an Honours in Medical Science at the University of Technology Sydney (2016-2020). His Honours project focused on mitochondrial function within developing mouse brains. This consisted of both wet lab work and bioinformatics/RNA-Sequencing. Prior to joining SOuRCe, James also worked within Special Health Accommodation (SHA), where he developed a keen interest in health, with a focus on patients and their quality of life.

Tel: (02) 9515 6416




                         Ms Henna Solanki BMedSc (Hons) – Peritonectomy Research Officer

Henna joined SOuRCe in July 2022 as the Peritonectomy Research Officer. As part of her role, Henna is involved in managing the peritonectomy research database (PREMIER), which stores clinical and patient-reported outcomes for patients who have undergone Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) at RPAH

Henna completed a Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) majoring in Physiology from The University of Sydney in 2021. Her honours project was focused on building an in vitro model of arterial vascular biology and testing the re-endothelialisation capacities of this model. Prior to SOuRCe, Henna fostered her interest in cancer research whilst working in major clinical trials at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead’s Cancer Centre. She now aims to develop this interest further through her current role.

Tel: (02) 9515 3205




                     Mr Philip Hay BEng, MIEAust – iCAD/Orthopaedic Research Officer

Philip joined SOuRCe in October 2022 as the iCAD/Orthopaedic Research Officer. Under the leadership of the Department of Colorectal Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Philip oversees the iCAD clinical trial which is investigating the safety and patient reported outcomes of patients with acute uncomplicated diverticulitis managed through rpavirtual. As part of his role with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, he is involved in the management and collection of data for projects relating to clinical and quality of life outcomes for patients undergoing procedures within the department.

Philip has completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) at Dalhousie University in Canada and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health at The University of New South Wales. Prior to joining SOuRCe, Philip spent several years working as an engineering manager and product development engineer in medical technology companies. Philip developed an interest in medical research through his experience in industry and collaboration with surgeons, with particular interests in health equity and implementing evidence-based research into clinical practice.

Tel: (02) 9515 3193







                     Mr Lylee Ye BSc (Adv) (Hons) – Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Research Officer






Lylee joined SOuRCe in October 2022 as the Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Research Officer. In this role, he is responsible for managing the Sarcoma of the Pelvis, Abdomen, or Retroperitoneum Collaboration (SPARC) Database, and supporting the establishment of a Sarcoma Biobank with the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.


Lylee has completed a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours), majoring in Anatomy & Histology and Immunobiology at the University of Sydney. Prior to joining SOuRCe, he has worked within the biobanks of two large medical research institutions, demonstrating proficiency in biospecimen processing and storage, database management, and project administration. His professional experiences thus far have fostered a keen interest in facilitating translational research and improving patient outcomes, which he hopes to further develop through this role.


Tel: (02) 9515 3206